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Negotiating with Incomplete Information: The Influence of Theory of Mind

Broers, E. (2014) Negotiating with Incomplete Information: The Influence of Theory of Mind. Master's Thesis / Essay, Human-Machine Communication.

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The aim of this master's thesis was to investigate the reasoning behavior of people during negotiations with incomplete information. The question was whether people reason about the knowledge, intentions and beliefs of others in a negotiation setting with incomplete information; do they use so called 'theory of mind'? Participants played the negotiation game 'colored trails' (for which the use of theory of mind has proven to be useful) against three types of computer agents, who all used a different order of theory of mind (zero, first or second). The negotiations were about the distribution of some resources of which a subset was needed to get to a certain goal location. The goal location of the computer agent was not public knowledge, which invited the participants to reason about the actions and possible goal location of the computer agent. The results showed that people reasoned about the offers of the computer agent. They mainly used first-order theory of mind (reasoning about someone's mental states) and second-order theory of mind (reasoning about what ideas someone else has about someone's mental states). The scores of the participants were influenced by the order of theory of mind their opponent used. The participants also used more second-order theory of mind when the opponent used second-order theory of mind. Another outcome was that the participants mainly achieved higher scores when the opponent started the negotiation. Furthermore, it was tested whether a training effect would occur when the participants first played 'marble drop': a game in which the actions of the opponent (opening a left or right trapdoor) need to be anticipated to get a marble at a preferred location. Unfortunately, no training effect was found, which might be due to the low accuracy of the participants on marble drop or because the game was not similar enough with colored trails. Finally, it was investigated whether personality traits regarding empathy would influence a participant's results. People who reported that they tended to take into account the perspective of another person in daily life, did not perform better than others.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor name: Verbrugge, L.C.
Degree programme: Human-Machine Communication
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:58
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 11:47

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